Argument by gibberish
|Cogito ergo sum|
Logic and rhetoric
“”Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?
|—Charles Manson during his 1987 NBC interview.|
An argument by gibberish is one that relies on nonsense, inscrutable words, or impenetrable jargon, i.e. gibberish. An argument by gibberish is a formal fallacy and is a type of non sequitur. Because the argument by gibberish is nonsensical, it may also try to rely on an appeal to emotion by verbal inflection, shouting, or use of emotive phrases (e.g., "Hell, I was born here!") that are tangential to the argument.
The form of the argument by gibberish is:
- P1: A valid proposition (or potentially a nonsense sentence).
- P2: A nonsense sentence.
- C: Therefore, X is true.
- P1: The sky is usually blue
- P2: Angels are sometimes blue because pixies are sometimes lazy depending on their mood
- C: Therefore angels are sometimes the sky
The argument by gibberish differs from word salad in that word salad may or may not be part of an argument. However, word salad can form one or more of the premises/conclusions of arguments by gibberish. The statements may fail in having incoherent premises/conclusions (meaning it may be non-sequitur/unsound).
Validity as a Fallacy?
Since an Argument by Gibberish is, in fact, gibberish, some argue that it isn't technically applicable to call it a "fallacy" per se. One wouldn't call the angry shrieking of a rabid squirrel "fallacious," for example.
From the film Blazing Saddles
“”There ain't no way that nobody is going to leave this town! Hell, I was born here and I was raised here… and goddamn it, I'm going to die here! And no sidewinder, bushwhacking, hornswoggling… cracker croaker, is going to ruin my biscuit-cutter!"
|—Gabby Johnson from the film Blazing Saddles|
Or in syllogistic form:
- P1: (unstated from the previous discussion): We are not going to be driven away from this town.
- P2: Hell, I was born here…
- C: No one is going to leave this town.
From Time Cube
“”There is no teacher on Earth qualified to teach Nature's Harmonic Simultaneous 4-Day Rotating Time Cube Creation Principle, and therefore, there is no teacher on Earth worthy of being called a certified teacher.
“”God said 640x480 16 color was a covenant like circumcision.
|—QAnon drop #155|
Background, context and tools
If one wants people to understand them, one must balance complexity and precision: complex language can increase our specificity, but it can also hamper it. Writers of gibberish deliberately increase complexity to minimize specificity. They hope that by obscuring their arguments: (a) the audience won't realize that they have nothing to say, or (b) that the audience will think that it is just not clever enough to understand the argument. Writers who wish to avoid gibberish will increase complexity only when there is a marked (and necessary) increase in precision.
SMOG (simplified measure of gobbledygook) is a tool for assessing the complexity of language, and from its use, one is better prepared to judge if a piece of text is gibberish or not. SMOG measures the reading level required to understand a text based on the number, on average, of syllables per word.
An example of a text analyzed by SMOG from the heights (or depths, depending on one's skepticism of postmodernism) of cognition comes from Deleuzian philosopher "Dr" Alberto Toscano:
The criticism of our time… is indissociable from an investigation and experience of its transcendental field(s), of the (impersonal) tendencies and haecceities which traverse it, as well as the potentialities, utopian ones perhaps, with which our present can be composed. This 'geological' aspect of 'total critique' is essential to a dislocation of the present as atrophy and stultifying repetition of doxa.
SMOG grade of 18.97=post-graduate degree required.
- Argument by Gibberish — Logically Fallacious
- ↑ Comment from Terry Davis on /r/Programming
- ↑ 155 by Q !ITPb.qbhqo 4ch/pol (14-Nov-2017 9:38:48 PM PST) qposts.online (archived from October 21, 2021).
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Discombobulated by Deleuze, I was left dazed and confused. skepticsfieldguide.net, 1 January 2006.
- ↑ The Sceptic's Field Guide: SMOG by Theo Clark
- ↑ SMOG
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